What is the mass media

What is the mass media

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  • Created by: Lollipop
  • Created on: 20-06-12 11:38

Mass Media

  • Television programmes, magazines, newspapers, films and the Internet are all examples of mass media
  • When using them you are involved in mass communication
  • They put across information and ideas that are designed to reach a large number of people
  • Sociologists are interested in peoples use of the media and how they respond to the influence of the media through information and ideas
  • The speed of technological changes are transforming the media
  • All forms of media have a shared purpose - to provide information and communicate ideas
  • The development of technology has made it easier for people to access this information and ideas and has made the audience and the number of people receiving this information bigger so the media has more influence over people
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New forms of technology

  • Some sociologists think that new types of communication technology eg. the Internet have swayed people with information - they have become overloaded with ideas and images so much that the differences between reality and the reality of this images has broken down and formed an alternative reality - hyperreality
  • Hyperreality means that some people can't distinguish between what they see on television and on virtual worlds on the Internet, to things that happen in the everyday world
  • For some people the television or Internet become real because it is better and more comforting than the harsh reakity of the real world
  • This is a reason for the popularity of soaps and reality television
  • People who feel alinated from people in their day-to-day life begin to place great value on what they see on television
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  • Sociologists use the method of hypodermic syringe to describe the relationship between the mass media and audiences
  • In the hypodermic syringe theory the medium (Internet, newspapers, television) are the syringe, the media content is the drug and the audience are the patient
  • This means that the people use the media eg. television and the content contains ideas and information that influence the audience so they change there way of thinking because of this influence
  • It also shows that the audience have no control over the influence and ideas projected by the media
  • this method sees the audience as passive consumers and fails to account for the different ways in which people react to or make use of the media
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